Perhaps the care your loved one needs has become more than you can give. Or, perhaps you aren’t the caregiver and aren’t in a place where you can become one. You want to to be confident that this is the right choice for the one you love.
Sometimes a loss, an illness or other life circumstance drives us to make the decision to move to an assisted living facility. Other times, we have to encourage our loved ones to seek extra care, and help them find the right type of care. Assisted living homes offer a large range of care services in one place to help your loved one. They provide long-term, worry-free solutions for senior adults so they can live independently with assistance in this new phase of life.
Here are four signs to help you determine if it’s time for your loved one to transition to an assisted living facility:
- Daily Routine
How does your loved one handle daily tasks?
Can he or she safely perform household chores, prepare meals, manage finances, etc.? Notice if he or she asks for help, or if they are doing it by themselves but not correctly. Whether it’s making coffee, taking out the trash, loading the dishwasher or failure to pay bills, if the ability to carry out a basic task that used to be easy, is now difficult, it may mean that extra care is needed.
- Personal Care
Can your loved one safely bathe, get dressed, put on makeup, shave, use the restroom, etc.?
Personal hygiene is a sensitive subject and hard to talk about with a loved one. Start off observing their habits, and notice if something changes—longer times in the restroom, mismatched clothes, changes in routine, etc. If your loved one is having issues with personal care, it can be embarrassing. If he is struggling to keep himself clean, keep his clothes clean, or eat regularly, it may mean extra attention is needed.
- Social Life
Does your loved one spend time with family or friends?
This may be more difficult to spot depending on if your loved one is an extrovert or introvert. If your loved one is usually the life of the party, you will notice if she begins to shy away from social activities, decline social invites, or begin giving up hobbies, volunteer work, etc. This could be due to a general change in the pace of life. Some of us, no matter what age, find ourselves too busy and decide to cut back. However, using your discretion and loving relationship with the person you know well, you know when this is abnormal. If your loved one is an introvert, but has lost interest in a hobby that she usually enjoys, it could be a sign that she’s yearning for relationships with other senior adults. Sometimes, the loss of a spouse can trigger this is senior adults, especially if that spouse was the main social instigator.
Social withdrawal from friends, family or regular activities because of health issues or personal care issues can lead to embarrassment, isolation, and even depression in senior adults.
- Physical Health and Mobility
How is your loved ones’ mobility? How is his health? Does she frequently forget to take medication, or take the wrong medication? Has he or she had a lot of accidents recently?
This is sometimes the most obvious sign that your loved one may be ready for assisted living care.
Falling, tripping, bumping into furniture, or showing frequent signs of scrapes, bruises or other injury related marks, shows that mobility is an issue. Above, we mention struggling with daily tasks is a sign, but sometimes injury can be the result of not being able to perform a daily task.
According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million senior adults are treated every year for injuries related to falls. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among senior adults ages 65 and above.
Senior adults have a much higher risk for suffering from a minor injury as they age. If your loved one has voiced concern or stress about stairs, getting in and out of the car, or general anxiety about mobility, it could be time for a transition for his or her health.
Start the Conversation
Senior adults are apprehensive about changing homes and moving into assisted living. A Place for Mom, a leader in connecting seniors to health care and living solutions, suggests when discussing this topic with your loved one, convey your own concern for her well-being, and communicate clearly, openly, and honestly to encourage her to voice her own worries with you.
“Talk about the positives of moving to assisted living, such as personalized daily care, social interaction and activity, transportation assistance, and appropriate senior nutrition. A visit to nearby assisted living facilities can go a long way toward assuaging your loved one’s fears – and your own.”
This is a big decision, with many points to consider, so talk it out. Share your thoughts with other people close to your loved one, and be open to an array of options.
Bringing it All Together
There are many factors that go into making this decision. When you’re ready to explore your options, there are many useful tools to help you find the perfect assisted living home for your loved one. There are many assisted living communities that are eager and ready to help walk with you through this transition and discuss all your questions for choosing the best assisted living for your loved one